Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

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Xeraeo
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:34 am

Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
I guess the usual critics have gone astray for a bit.
Yeah, I sorta expected Mirage to rip me a new one within the first week, based on what I've read in other threads, lol.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
The alternate interpretation of Iwanako's letter feels plausible and interesting, for example.
This idea about her letter being interpreted differently was what led me to start this story in the first place. We get Hisao's assumption that it's intended as just a goodbye in some of the routes, but Iwanako's actual intention is never confirmed in the VN, and we all know our dude is not the brightest when it comes to understanding women. Having him re-read the letter in the light of his breakup with Lilly was the original idea, and it just sort of grew organically in my head from that point.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
But the girl herself and the setting could use a bit more fleshing out. Hisao reminiscing of the city while walking with Hanako and Iwanako's new friend are steps in the right direction, so I'm interested to see what comes next.
Good to hear. That was the intention. I felt I was dreadfully neglecting the setting and focusing entirely on the relationships, so I've tried to course-correct a bit here. I have a nebulous mess of other ideas that will help further flesh out the setting, but I'm not sure how long I want this story to actually go, so I have to balance that with advancing the plot to the main conflict, or I'll end up writing myself into a corner and giving up on the whole thing.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
Hisao and Iwa sleeping together right away is pretty weird, but not unbelievable. It certainly is the kind of thing that could happen to a couple of isolated and mildly traumatized teenagers. But, I think it would have been beneficial to have had more insight as to how such a dramatic development came to be, rather than just cutting from the cafe straight to cuddling naked. I can understand the reluctance to straight up write a sex scene for sure, but maybe it would have been interesting to show us what happened when they got to her house- the awkwardness, the suffocating emotion, the moment when they snap and just start going at it, maybe- before cutting to after. It's also the ideal place to explore the thing you've got going on with Iwanako trying not to inflict death by snu-snu.
Yeah, now that I have a better idea of where I'm going with things, I regret writing this the way I did. Not them rushing into things physically; that's something I intended as part of the main conflict, and a consequence of Hisao's previous relationship with Lilly. But rather that, in an effort to avoid writing an actual sex scene, I completely skipped over some stuff that could have helped with developing the tension of Iwanako's fear of hurting Hisao: exactly like you called out. I'm torn between actually revising Chapters 4 and 5 a bit (I was already considering this before your comment) and just making it work. I'll probably decide after Chapter 10 is done. Any significant changes I make mean I have to go over the rest of the story with a fine-tooth comb for inconsistencies.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
It takes a lot of determination to put this much work in a fic in a forum that's.. not as active as it used to be, and I respect that.
Thanks. The level of activity is only really relevant to me insofar as I can get useful feedback. (Well, admittedly the ego boost when someone actually ENJOYS reading something I wrote is nice too, but that's not why I'm really here. Probably.) Mostly I'm writing this story because it came into my head, and I wanted to write it, and having consumed so much of the work from this forum myself it made sense to contribute what I could. Although every time I read one of the better works on here (Learning to Fly comes to mind) I'm simultaneously inspired to write more and better, and discouraged that I'll never be that good or tie my various plot strands together well enough.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. It's sincerely appreciated. Seeing that people are interested in the story is what helps motivate me to keep writing it.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Xeraeo
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Chapter 4 Rewrite/Addition

Post by Xeraeo » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:47 am

So as Hacksorus pointed out, it felt like something was missing in the buildup to Hisao and Nako sleeping together at the end of Chapter 4. As I said then, that was partly just my hesitation to actually write that part, so I sort of glossed over it, even though it had a lot of potential to build on some important story points. I've been having a lot of trouble with Chapter 10, which is a pretty critical chapter in which a lot happens, so I decided to go back and rewrite Chapter 4 to include a more interesting and thorough buildup to Chapter 5.

In the end, I just removed the last few paragraphs of Chapter 4 and wrote an addition that takes us from the cafe where Nako confessed to Hisao for the second time to her house, and her bedroom. I'm not 100% pleased with how it turned out- much of it feels awkward- but I suppose that's fitting for what it is: a first time sexual encounter between awkward young people with a lot of issues.

I've already gone back and added this to Chapter 4, but I figured I'd post the addition here as well for anyone who has already read through the story so far to look at and review without having to go back and read through the entire chapter again. If and when I finish this story, or at least make significant headway with it, I will finally figure out how to make hyperlinks and "next chapter" buttons work, so having this 1/3 of a chapter in the middle of the thread shouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, here's the new stuff, which tacks onto the end of Chapter 4 from the moment they leave the cafe. Let me know if you think this was a bad idea, if the writing is missing something, or if I should just give up altogether. :wink:

Mild NSFW warning


As we're walking out together, Hisao takes my hand in his, smiling down at me. We soon reach the point where we would part to go to our homes, and hesitate. I realize that, having finally worked things out like this, I'm not ready to be away from my boyfriend again so soon. Wow, boyfriend? The thought feels strange, but I guess that's what we are now, right? But won't Hisao think I'm being too forward if I invite him over right away? I don't want to remind him of his ex, or anything…

This is stupid. I force myself to speak. "Um, my parents won't be home for a long time, still. I don’t really want to be alone yet… Do you want to come over for a while?"

Hisao looks a bit surprised, but then smiles. "Yeah, that would be nice, actually. I don't have any plans, anyway. And I've never seen your house, so I guess I'm a bit curious."

I smile back, and lead him the remaining short walk to my neighborhood, and eventually to my front door. Hisao looks intrigued as we approach the place. I'm used to living here, but I do notice the odd looks people often give my house the first time they see it, and Hisao is no different.

"Wow. It's- um… very modern."

The construction is primarily steel and glass, strikingly unique even in our rather eclectic neighborhood. My father told me the architect he hired to design the place a decade or so ago apparently went on to become some famous "abstract home designer", whatever that means. To me, it means our house is a bit weird compared to others, but in the end a house is just a house.

"Yeah, I guess that's one word for it. Come on, let's go in."

---

After giving Hisao a short tour- he was very impressed with the place, and far more interested in the design than I had expected- we got some drinks from the kitchen, and ended up in my room. I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, while Hisao has courteously taken the desk chair a meter or so away. Despite our unusual house, in the end my room is just that- a bedroom. There's only so much to look at before Hisao runs out of silly questions to ask, and we fall into a semi-uncomfortable silence.

For so long, I tried to get Hisao to talk to me. After I gave up, I spent the following months wishing that things had been different- that the two of us could have worked through things somehow and grown close. Most of all, I had just wanted to be able to be there for him, and with him. Now that my wishes have somehow come true, however, I find myself not knowing what to actually say.

"Hey, Iwanako… Are you okay?"

Hisao's voice pulls me from my thoughts, and I return my attention to him. He's watching me with a slightly worried expression, and I realize that I probably dropped a bit of my polite outer bearing while thinking about the last few months. I give him a weak smile, but the truth is, I'm not okay. This has been the hardest year of my life, and one amazing afternoon isn't enough to just fix all that.

"Hey…" He seems to hesitate for a second, but then comes over to sit beside me. He puts an arm around me, and I find myself automatically leaning against him. He's so warm.

I wrap my arms around his body, pulling him closer. I can't believe I actually have him! After all this time, we're here, and we're together, and maybe it was all worth it- no, that's an awful thing to think, poor Hisao went through so much more than I did, and-

He gives me a gentle squeeze, rocking me ever so slightly, not saying a word, and slowly, I feel my anxieties and my guilt and my memories of the last several long, painful months slowly fading into the background, replaced with something else entirely. The new anxiety is a welcome reprieve, and something I haven't felt for a long time, but it grows in intensity shockingly quickly, a burning itch that I can't ignore or suppress.

Lifting my head, I quickly wrap my arms around Hisao's neck and pull him in for a kiss again. He seems just as shocked as he did in the restaurant, but since this time I'm far more aggressive with it, I can't exactly blame him. It takes him several seconds before he kisses me back, and he's not nearly as passionate as I am- at first. I keep going, pressing for more, needing more…

His breathing starts to get heavy. Labored. The sound is familiar, but I can't remember exactly why-

A flash of white and cold in my mind tears me away from him, and I look at him in sudden shock and fear.

"I-I'm sorry! I shouldn't… I mean, we shouldn't…"

Hisao doesn't give me the time to continue the thought, however. This time, he kisses me, and he's just as forceful about it as I was. I feel his hands all over me, on my legs, my back, my chest… one slips under my blouse so smoothly I almost don't notice until I feel his hand squeezing me through my bra. I surprise myself by moaning into his mouth instinctively. It's been so long since anyone's touched me like this, and even then, it didn't feel nearly this good.

Again, sudden memories of terror pull me away from him, and I look into his eyes, searching for the fear I saw in them that day, but instead all I see is a reflection of the lust that's growing rapidly in my own body. Hisao pulls off his sweater vest and starts to unbutton his shirt, his expression suddenly growing shy.

"I guess you should see this. You were there when it happened, after all."

He finishes, and slowly removes his shirt. The scar looks like it's probably faded a bit, but the shocking, jagged line across his torso is still a jarring sight. Tentatively, I bring a hand to his chest, tracing the line with two fingers delicately. He smiles at me.

"I used to be embarrassed by it, but I'm starting to get used to it, I guess."

As fascinating as the scar is, my attention is drawn to more… Hisao may not be in the same shape he was in before his attack, but he still looks good. I guess he never really knew how I saw him, since even now with his newfound confidence he seems a bit shy, but he has no reason to be. Pushing him gently to his back, I remove and toss my cardigan to the floor, then pull my blouse off over my head.

Hisao takes several seconds looking me over, apparently mesmerized. I'm probably not as pretty as his last girlfriend apparently was, but I know I'm attractive. Judging by his reactions, he certainly thinks so too. However, I also see a bit of hesitation on his face, and it makes me pause as well.

"Um, Iwanako… I don't want to ruin the mood, but is this going where I think it is?"

I blush as my behavior comes crashing down on me all at once, and suddenly I'm filled with an intense shyness. I'm topless (well, still in a bra, at least) with a guy I've been dating for literally less than an hour, in my bed, and moving full steam ahead. Moving to cover myself, I stammer…

"Uh, sorry, I got a bit carried away there, and-"

Hisao sits up suddenly, and once again we're making out. This time, I don't think either of us is willing to hit the brakes again, either.

As one thing leads to another, I soon find myself completely naked, straddling my new boyfriend and just a few centimeters away from the moment of truth, when I realize just how much stress this could put on Hisao's heart. I know that he said he and Lilly were sexually active, but it's possible they always took things slowly, and that's not usually how I do things… obviously…

"Um, Hisao? Are you sure you're going to be okay?"

Again, flashes of the worst day of my life threaten to overwhelm me, and I have to force them down with concentrated effort.

"As long as we don't go crazy, and I pay attention to my heart, yes. More than okay." He's smiling so broadly that I can’t help but believe him.

"Then, I guess we can… you know…"

"Whenever you're ready."

I'm more than ready.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Hacksorus
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Hacksorus » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:03 am

I'm far from an expert when it comes to scenes like this, but I definitely think it's a good addition. It does feel a bit awkward and rushed; perhaps a bit like going through the motions to reach the end? But maybe it's an inevitable kind of awkwardness for this scene, as you've said. In any case, I'd say the story's definitely better with it than without it.

Good luck with chapter 10! Here's hoping you find your way past the writer's block.

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Xeraeo
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:51 pm

Thanks! The awkwardness is partly intentional and partly just from me writing this kind of thing, but glad it sorta worked as intended. I definitely think events flow better after adding this, so all in all I'm glad I went back and did it.

And thank you. I hope so too. Often I go into a scene with only a vague idea of what I want to happen, and I let it write itself. With Chapter 10, there are several key events that need to take place, but I keep getting bogged down in the less important stuff that happens in between. I'll get through it eventually.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

BoxNinja
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by BoxNinja » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:21 am

I've really enjoyed this so far. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

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Xeraeo
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Status Update (Both Stories)

Post by Xeraeo » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:15 pm

Okay so here's where I'm at:

I started Rebound on a single idea: Hisao re-reading Iwanako's letter in the light of losing Lilly, and gaining a new perspective as a result. The 9 chapters that followed grew organically from there.

Less than a week after I began posting my chapters for that story, the concept of Hitomi as a character came into my head, and I quickly decided she deserved her own work, and began writing To Miss The Mark.

For a while now, I've tried working on both stories simultaneously, with limited success. However, increasingly I've found that nearly all my creative ideas since beginning these two works have been related to the second. Particularly while trying to write the latest chapter in Rebound, I've found my mind continuously wandering back to Hitomi and her story.

The result of this is that both works are being slowed down and limited. I feel guilty whenever I do more work on To Miss the Mark when I still haven't made any progress on Rebound. I shouldn't feel guilty for making progress; I should feel satisfied.

Beyond this, I have a decent map of how I want To Miss the Mark to play out, all the way through Act 4. There's plenty to fill in as I go, but the overall story concepts and conflicts are there. For Rebound, I still only have the general idea of the conflicts I want to address, and those are subject to change as that story progresses.

The bottom line is this: I'm putting Rebound on hold for a bit while I focus on To Miss the Mark. I'm hoping this will allow me to make progress in that story more quickly and effectively, while freeing up the guilt I keep getting dragged down by. That being said, I have no intention to abandon Rebound; that's a story I still very much want to tell. I'll come back to it once I've made more significant progress in To Miss the Mark, or when sudden inspiration strikes me again like it did when I began that story.

I know it's likely that some of you have only read Rebound, and if you are more invested in that story, I apologize for the delay in its next update.

I'm posting this in both threads so readers of either story know what to expect.

If any of you more experienced writers have any advice for how to handle this type of thing, I'd love to hear it. Creative writing is still relatively new to me: particularly in a form where others are reading a story as it's ongoing.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:23 pm

Hi and welcome to the forums!
Looks like your first project is quite extensive - and from what I can tell so far very well written as well.
I'll comment as I go along.

You know what I dislike about Lilly's route? It is all about honesty and opening up to your partner. To get to the good ending you have to always be honest to Lilly and tell her about all your worries...
Yet in the end Lilly herself is the one who is not honest to Hisao. Who does not tell him about her leaving the country and instead starts a relationship with him, leaving him in the dark until mere days before her planned departure - and even then he only learns about it from Akira. (Incidentally she acts exactly the same way in the good ending, so whether or not Hisao is honest with her, Lilly isn't honest with him...)
After being treated that way, I think it is highly unfair to push any of the blame on Hisao.
Reading about Lilly pushing the blame on him can be seen as justifying her own behaviour to herself.
Reading about Hisao accepting that blame can be ascribed to his depression...
I really like what you did with Hanako, but I really wish she would have pointed all of the above out to Hisao instead of joining in on the blame party asking him why he didn't stop her...
In summary, while I do think being open is important in a relationship, and Hisao was right to gain this insight, I think he gained it for the wrong reason.

- There are few things more awkward than being on a date and talking almost exclusively about your Ex... :roll:
One of the few things more awkwars is telling her about all the awesome sex you had with her...
I can't help but feel like she should never have confessed to him, knowing that she may be leaving, but I'm not sure I should tell Hisao that.
YES! Yes, she should!
Good, she does.
"I'm concerned I may make be making same mistakes she did as well."
It only took a few minutes for Iwanako and I
"for Iwanako and me"
- That extensive journal entry in chapter 8 seems a bit redundant. It doesn't really contain anything we don't know from previous chapters.
Yeah, I sorta expected Mirage to rip me a new one within the first week, based on what I've read in other threads, lol.
Well, I haven't been on the forums a lot those past few months, but I'm probably going to be back more often now.
There's not really much to "rip" with this story. Most of what I wrote above is more about my gripes with Lilly's path than with your story, and SPaG are almost flawless considering the length of the story.
Besides I'm a sucker for Iwanako stories, especially if they break the mold, and this one certainly does. Among other things it is one of very few stories concerning Hisao returning to his home that does not feel the need to bring up Mai and Hisao's other old friends. (Too bad you felt the need to bring up sweater vests, but hey, can't have it all...)
As for the NSFW scene - I don't know what the original version was like, but I like the version as it is now. It stops at exactly the right point.

I have yet to start reading your other story, but if it is nearly as good as this one I'm sure I will enjoy it as well. Though I am a bit sad to se that this one will be on hiatus I agree that it is much better to focus on one story at a time. I'm looking forward to when you feel you can continue this one.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Xeraeo
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:51 am

Hey, thanks for the welcome, and glad you're enjoying this story! Even though I haven't worked on it in a while, it returns to my mind more often than you'd think, and I am continuing to develop it up there. When exactly I'll actually get back to writing it is another question.

Interestingly enough, I mostly agree with you on your gripes with the Lilly route, and part of that is a perspective change that has happened since writing this. That being said, I have no doubt that the Hisao in this story would blame himself, as Hisao in the VN does in many ways in most routes. He's not really the type to focus on the faults of others over his own, from what I can tell. Though it may be that the way he's been written in other fics has influenced my perspective on his personality a bit.

Regarding Hanako, her progression is something I'm enjoying as well. Something notable in the VN was that she appears to make significantly more progress in Lilly's route than in her own. Part of this can be simply attributed to time, of course, since Lilly's route goes on a bit further than her own, but regardless it was pretty apparent. We've of course seen Hanako make further progress after her route in other fics, such as Sisterhood, but we don't often see the continuation of her progression post-Lilly route, so I was interested in seeing that happen. Side concept though, not the main focus of the story. The next chapter, which has been partially written for nearly two months now, is likely the last from her perspective, unless I decide to bring her back much later on.

To the statements on awkwardness, yes, and YES, but I don't think that meeting was intended as a date. More of a chance for reconciliation. Old and renewed feelings came up at the end, and we progressed rapidly from there, of course.

Journal entry. Yes. I agree, it is. I wanted to have a good chance for Hisao to reflect further on what's been going on, since things moved so quickly in such a short time, but I don't think I did well at making the reflections all that new. If I were to go back to it now, I would definitely cut this part far shorter.

That line was mostly a joke, but I'm still a bit relieved you liked this as much as you seem to. I too felt that Iwanako has not gotten nearly enough attention on the forums, and thought giving her my own spin would be interesting. She's practically an OC, since there's next to no canon on her in the VN. She continues to be a bit of a mystery in my mind, but not in the same way that Hitomi is.

You've spoken a bit too soon regarding Hisao's old friends, as one of them plays a role in the next chapter, but I don't want them to be the focus of the story and don't intend to do all that much with them.

NSFW scene: the original ended shortly after they left the cafe, before actually even getting to Iwanako's house, and with only the implication they would sleep together (confirmed in the opening of the next chapter). As I believe I said to Hacksorus at the time, I was simply uncomfortable with writing that scene, and was glad to correct it on his recommendation.

I started writing my other story very quickly after this one (I believe the first post of each are only a bit over a week apart) and since then it has occupied far more of my creative attention. I'll also admit that since it got far more analysis from readers, I figured it was the more engaging story anyway, though I always have and still do intend to return to Rebound at some point. Lately, I've been stuck on writing and re-writing portions of TMtM 3-1, which I'm still not done with.

Anyway, glad to have you back around, man! Thanks for the SPaG catches; I'll go back and correct those soon. I'm much stronger in that area than I am in either creativity or writing discipline, but something always falls through the cracks. Hoping you'll find sufficient flaws in my other work that it helps me strengthen it further.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:56 am

Interestingly enough, I mostly agree with you on your gripes with the Lilly route, and part of that is a perspective change that has happened since writing this.
Yes, you made that point in a later chapter - which is good. Way too few fanfics acknowledge how truly shitty Lilly was acting towards Hisao in her route, and I hope that someone is going to get this through to Hisao's thick skull in this one.
Something notable in the VN was that she appears to make significantly more progress in Lilly's route than in her own. Part of this can be simply attributed to time, of course, since Lilly's route goes on a bit further than her own, but regardless it was pretty apparent.
Well, the reaosn for that is most likely a meta-one: If Hanako had had the same problems in Lilly's route that she has in her own, there would hve been no way to make this route about Lilly. She would have taken way too much narrative space. So the obvious solution was to have her get bettter and get her own circle of friends to get her out of the picture.
but something always falls through the cracks.
Something always does...
Anyway, I'm working my way through the backlog more or less chronologically, so no idea when I get to your other story.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Xeraeo
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:25 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:56 am
Yes, you made that point in a later chapter - which is good. Way too few fanfics acknowledge how truly shitty Lilly was acting towards Hisao in her route, and I hope that someone is going to get this through to Hisao's thick skull in this one.
I tend to be a bit of a Lilly defender here, although I certainly think she was in the wrong. She's a kid, confused and unsure how to handle her situation, and I don't think she intended to progress her relationship with Hisao until he had a mini attack in Hokkaido. And then she was too scared to tell him, and just procrastinated that inevitable confrontation. As someone who also hates confrontation, I can sympathize.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:56 am
Well, the reaosn for that is most likely a meta-one: If Hanako had had the same problems in Lilly's route that she has in her own, there would hve been no way to make this route about Lilly. She would have taken way too much narrative space. So the obvious solution was to have her get bettter and get her own circle of friends to get her out of the picture.
True, I suppose, but I generally prefer to ignore external reasoning whenever possible with fiction. Saying, "the characters do this not because they actually WOULD do this, but because it was convenient for the author" kinda takes away their agency, or the illusion of it, at least. We can write off any and all actions of the characters this way, but then we have nothing left to work with. So, even it if was convenient for her to be written this way, I prefer to consider that Hanako DID show progress in Lilly's route, independent of dating Hisao, and that demonstrates something significant about her character.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:56 am
Anyway, I'm working my way through the backlog more or less chronologically, so no idea when I get to your other story.
Yeah, I can see that. And commenting like an absolute madman as well. No rush, if you get to it you get to it. Looking forward to it if you do. I'm not entirely certain, but by word count I think it's likely the largest thing on here since last time you were around (~60,000 words, plus 1,000s more from the commentary/analysis) so I expect it will take you a while to get through all of it anyway.

Peace, man! Glad to have you back!
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:33 am

True, I suppose, but I generally prefer to ignore external reasoning whenever possible with fiction. Saying, "the characters do this not because they actually WOULD do this, but because it was convenient for the author" kinda takes away their agency, or the illusion of it, at least.
Well, to be fair, if you look at just Lilly's route it is plausible that Hanako would get better in that way.
It's just when you compare it to her own route that you have to wonder why she doesn't have all those problems in Lilly's.
So in a way it is a meta solution to a meta problem... Does that cancel out? :wink:
I think it's likely the largest thing on here since last time you were around.
Yes, I noticed. I'm currently down to three - all of them seem to be pretty long, and I'm considering leaving yours for last ^^°
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Xeraeo
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago(ish), United States

Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:12 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:33 am
So in a way it is a meta solution to a meta problem... Does that cancel out? :wink:
Fair's fair.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:33 am
I'm considering leaving yours for last ^^°
...fair's fair. :wink:
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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Chatty Wheeler
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Chatty Wheeler » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm

Hello Xeraeo!

Long time no see, eh? At least here on the Renai, that is! Anyway, I told you at some point in October that I'd get to Rebound at some point, and I'm here today to make good on my word. Let's get cracking...

——————————

Prologue:

Starting off with that brief prologue... I thought it was quite effective at what it was setting out to do. It established to the reader that the primary reason for the failure of Lilly's and Hisao's relationship was their failure to be open with each other—a conflict that will become ever-so-important for Hisao and Iwanako.

The other thing that this prologue did well was that it made it clear that Lilly—at least for the first several chapters—would not be a recurring character in this story. Lilly is out of the picture, and this story is not about her... Well, this story is everything about her, but I mean that she won't be popping up very often—if at all. Probably a wise decision, if Lilly was a major player in this story, it might have felt too similar to the premise of Dewelar's Developments—replacing Emi with Iwanako in this case.

Besides that, I don't have much else to say about the prologue, it was short, simple, and it got the job done well. We're off to a good start. :D

——————————

Chapter 1:

This first chapter was somewhat of a mixed bag... Half of it was okay, and half of it was amazing.

The chapter kicks off with the premise of the entire story: Hisao rereading Iwanako's letter after his breakup with Lilly and finding new meaning in it. This is a great, interesting premise—and Hisao's internal monologue makes that clear... But then, Hisao sort of goes on and on. He starts thinking in circles, and at a certain point, I found it to be repetitive. It sort of felt like Hisao was cycling through the same few, self-deprecating points, but wording them in slightly different ways each time.

However, the scene where Hanako confronts Hisao in his room directly afterwards was nothing short of amazing. The dialogue was spot on, the tension was high, and I absolutely adore this interpretation of Hanako. It's clear that this is the Hanako from after Lilly's Neutral Ending: much more mature and independent. With Lilly gone, it's satisfying to see Hanako stepping up to fill her role in some sense. Now, Hanako is looking out for Hisao and trying to prevent him from doing anything dumb.

More than anything, this chapter shows us how much closer Hanako and Hisao have become. Rather than the measured and gentle way that they tiptoe around each other in the visual novel, both of them lay their feelings right out on the table—Hanako especially. It's rare to see Hanako getting so angry (other than... you know... Misstep), but it's a sign that she trusts Hisao enough to not worry about potentially pushing him away. Rather than burying her grievances with Hisao's behavior in order to not risk destroying their friendship, Hanako understands that the two have been through enough together for that not to happen, and treat Hisao like he can handle a little criticism. Likewise, Hisao opening himself up to Hanako and putting his trust into her shows how he has grown as well.

——————————

Chapter 2:

The second chapter was another shorter one, but it was good for what it was. At long last, we get to see Hisao's response to Iwanako. I think the only time that Hisao responds to Iwanako in the visual novel is in Rin's route, and even then we don't get to read it, so I appreciate that Rebound was able to scratch that itch for me. Hisao was extremely open in his letter, which means that he's already learning from his mistakes with Lilly.

I think the best part of this chapter, however, is that it draws parallels between Hisao and this story's interpretation of Iwanako. Iwanako also had her life "ruined" after Hisao's heart attack. She is bullied, her grades are slipping, and she is no longer in touch with any of her friends. We get to see that Hisao and Iwanako are both victims in somewhat similar ways. Not only is this story about Hisao "rebounding," but it's about Iwanako "rebounding" as well. At the risk of jumping ahead a little bit, we find out that Hanako is suspicious that Hisao might be taking advantage of Iwanako, but if that's true, Hisao is not taking advantage of Iwanako any more than she is taking advantage of him... It'd be wrong to just blame Hisao...

——————————

Chapter 3:

Chapter three was another good one. I don't have too much to say about it though; it was quite short, after all. It's great to see Hisao taking care of himself some more, it makes the last two chapters seem all the more meaningful. The Iwanako call was suitably tense, and I thought that the dialogue was quite realistic. I could talk a little more about the content of their call, but I'm going to save that analysis for a later chapter. :D

Something that excites me is that Hisao is keeping a journal... I wonder if that's going to become more important in the future...

——————————

Chapter 4:

Chapter four was a huge leap in quality and polish. I really liked this one, and it sets the stage for a lot of interesting plot to unfold in the future.

Similar to Xeraeo's other story, To Miss the Mark, it would appear that Xeraeo wants to avoid retreading the topic of "opening up" to your friends and significant others. As is the case in TMtM, this is a wise decision. We've had more than enough stories and routes focusing on that topic in both the visual novel and these forums.

Hisao is extremely transparent with Iwanako in this chapter, and Iwanako is also quite transparent about her feelings with Hisao—though not to the same extent that Hisao is. Even though Hisao has completely opened up about himself and his experiences, Iwanako hasn't told Hisao much about her experiences with bullying, social isolation, etc. However, Iwanako makes a pretty good argument to keep that whole issue under wraps for the time being: she doesn't want to guilt him so soon after meeting back up with him. The question now comes down to when she is going to reveal everything to Hisao. It'll have to come sooner or later.
Xeraeo wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:31 pm
The two are probably tied together in his mind, considering what he said in his letter. Oh, God. Does that mean that this whole conversation is also him apologizing to her?
This brings quote brings up a very interesting conflict that will become increasingly important in the coming chapters. That is, the progression of Hisao's and Iwanako's relationship is remarkably similar to how Hisao's and Lilly's relationship progressed.
  • Lilly nearly loses Hisao when he has a heart flutter on the way to Hokkaido; Iwanako nearly loses Hisao when he attempts to leave the café after his apology.
  • Not long after, Lilly confesses to Hisao right on the spot and they hug; Not long after, Iwanako confesses to Hisao on the spot and they kiss.
  • The two go home and make love; the two go home and make love.
This is all happening extremely fast, and both parties know it. The next logical question being... How will third parties react?

Side Note: Imagine if Iwanako hadn't chased after Hisao when he tried to leave. It would have looked like he was trying to make her foot the whole bill for their drinks! Absolute disgrace, man...

——————————

Chapter 5:

Chapter five was another solid one. The relationship between Hisao and Iwanako was further fleshed out and the chapter very effectively demonstrated how similar Iwanako and Lilly are—something that makes Hisao quite uncomfortable. This chapter also made me think that Hisao and Hitomi might not fully be in love with each other yet. Hisao is still not fully recovered from Lilly, and Iwanako just seems kind of desperate for any kind of positive social connection.

——————————

Chapter 6:

This is a fantastic chapter, filled with so many interesting plot threads and developments. This chapter also gives us a conflict for Hanako that was completely unexpected, totally captivating, and one that I have never seen before on these forums.

At the beginning of the chapter, Naomi and Natsume help Hanako realize—for perhaps the first time—that she is beautiful. As much as Hanako tries to bashfully hide this, you can tell that she feels some gratification and pride at the way the photo on the outlook turned out. But then, Hanako meets Iwanako, and some rather interesting thoughts spring to mind...

Hanako starts to notice the similarities between herself and Iwanako—even down to their names sounding similar. More frighteningly, Hanako can't help but notice that the only real external difference between the two of them are Hanako's scars. As much as Hanako tries to bury her fears, she can't help but wonder if Hisao finds her appearance repulsive—too repulsive to consider becoming closer friends or more than friends. Maybe... Hisao chose Lilly over Hanako because of her scars? Suddenly, the confidence in her own appearance that Hanako had been building up earlier this chapter is challenged—possibly invalidated. What a frightening thought...

This conflict is just plain genius, and I hope that Xeraeo returns to it in future chapters.

——————————

Chapter 7:

This chapter is also excellent. We find out that not only does Hanako wish Hisao had told her about Iwanako sooner, but Iwanako feels the same way. Having Iwanako chase down Hanako in the bathroom and talk it out really shows how mature Iwanako is. It made me like Iwanako even more than I already did. Furthermore, Iwanako handled herself exceptionally well with the timid Hanako. When Iwanako made mistakes, she recovered from them quickly and didn't lose her footing. It did seem like Hanako was testing Iwanako, but it looks like Hanako feels a little better about the whole situation after the talk.

After the talk, Iwanako walks home and we meet her mother for the first time... There, we find out that not only are their skeptics on Hisao's side of the relationship, but Iwanako's side as well—it's clear that her parents don't approve of the relationship. I'm... not sure how I feel about this. It makes clear, logical sense why Iwanako's parents would disapprove of the relationship, but having "disapproving parents" is such a tired cliché. I just hope that it doesn't become a central conflict of the story.

To further elaborate on what I'm trying to say with the above paragraph... I think that it would make sense that there are skeptics on both sides of the relationship. Hisao's skeptics are his friends, while Iwanako's skeptics—for the time being—are her parents. I think that Hanako's skepticism is extremely interesting, but that's because the reader already knows a ton about her and we know why she would be skeptical. However, we know next to nothing about Iwanako's parents, so having them be skeptical of the relationship is not very interesting because we don't have any context for their skepticism other than the most surface level explanation: "Hisao made our daughter sad, so he's nothing but bad." I guess what I'm trying to say is that if Iwanako's parents are going to become major antagonists of the story, then I would like to see them significantly more fleshed out. Maybe... if one of Iwanako's friends came into the picture, who had previously known Hisao, and then they expressed their skepticism about the relationship, that could be a little more interesting...

——————————

Chapter 8:

Chapter eight is nice, lovely fluff at the beginning. Hisao's parents are totally awesome—I hope we see more of them. Mrs. Nakai is like a mellowed-out Misha and Mr. Nakai is that one guy who's always thinks he's being cooler than he actually is. Together, they make for a hilarious pair.

Afterwards, the conversation with Hanako was good... I couldn't help but notice that Hanako is becoming quite protective of Hisao in a Lilly sort of way... I wonder if that's going to become more of a thing as the story progresses.

——————————

Chapter 9:

Chapter nine might just be one of the most important chapters so far. This chapter gave us some much needed development for Iwanako. As Xeraeo himself pointed out in one of his posts, Iwanako hadn't been given as much focus as Hisao had been given up until this chapter. While Hisao's conflict is fleshed out and compelling, Iwanako had yet to be fleshed out and truly established. I was starting to get worried that this was all we were getting about Iwanako, so I'm glad that this chapter proved me wrong. This chapter reminded me that, indeed, Iwanako is a person, with a life, and interests, and a personality.

Also, Ichika is a sweetheart. She's awesome. I like how she handled the news about the relationship. She faked Iwanako out by pretending to be mad and then got all excited at the end. Her dialogue made me laugh out loud multiple times. Also, I like how she contrasts Hanako in this story. Whereas Hanako is skeptical and somewhat disapproving of Hisao's relationship with Iwanako, Ichika is extremely supportive of their relationship. While Hanako worries that Iwanako and Hisao may end up hurting each other, Ichika points out something to Iwanako that refutes Hanako's fears:
Xeraeo wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:35 pm
"Because you were smiling the whole time you were talking with him. I haven't seen you smiling like that in forever."
While Hanako fears that Iwanako and Hisao may end up hurting each other, Ichika points out the undeniable truth that there is feelings between the two, and that the two of them are happy together.

——————————

Typo:
Xeraeo wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:26 pm
If I don't hear back from you, then I guess I'll know that a blew my last chance to talk to you, and this will have to be goodbye.
The above quote is from chapter two. It would appear that the underlined "a" should be an "I."

——————————

Reflection:

I didn't have anywhere else to fit this in, but I am highly curious about how Lilly is going to react to everything that has transpired... When she finds out that Hisao is dating another girl so soon after the breakup, her worst fears are going to be realized. Lilly is going to think that her relationship with Hisao was a high school fling. I just hope that she takes it well when she inevitably finds out...

Something else I noticed... This interpretation of Iwanako is kind of a fusion of Hanako and Lilly... A fact that will probably make both Hanako and Lilly uncomfortable. In Hanako's case, she is already quite uncomfortable with the whole thing.

On the flip side, Iwanako is the polar opposite of Hitomi. Hitomi is cold, aloof, and difficult to communicate with. Iwanako is expressive, emotional, easy to communicate with, and cries a heck of a lot more than Hitomi does. :wink:

Overall, this is a great, well-written story that I'm looking forward to seeing play out. It doesn't look like it's going to be as long as a proper route—I wouldn't be surprised if the story ended after summer break ends—but it's clear that we have plenty of plot and conflict to make our way through before we can start to talk about an ending. The initial few chapters didn't feel quite as polished, but the story finds its footing starting with chapter four and the quality of each chapter has been very high from then on.

But yeah, with an interesting premise, engrossing conflicts, great new characters, unique uses of old characters, and the same high-quality prose that's the standard of Xeraeo, this story is a keeper. I look forward to reading more when the this story is taken off of hold. No rush, though. Take your time, Xeraeo.

Take care, everyone!

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Xeraeo
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:32 pm

Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
Hello Xeraeo!

Long time no see, eh? At least here on the Renai, that is! Anyway, I told you at some point in October that I'd get to Rebound at some point, and I'm here today to make good on my word. Let's get cracking...
Sup, man! It has been a bit. Glad to be back.
Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
Also, Ichika is a sweetheart. She's awesome. I like how she handled the news about the relationship.
Ichi is an OC I love, and really, really want to go back to and flesh out more soon! Creating her was a lot of fun. She's just been overshadowed by another, edgier OC for some reason...
Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
Typo:
Xeraeo wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:26 pm
If I don't hear back from you, then I guess I'll know that a blew my last chance to talk to you, and this will have to be goodbye.
The above quote is from chapter two. It would appear that the underlined "a" should be an "I."
Yup. Fixed. Thanks!
Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
Something else I noticed... This interpretation of Iwanako is kind of a fusion of Hanako and Lilly... A fact that will probably make both Hanako and Lilly uncomfortable. In Hanako's case, she is already quite uncomfortable with the whole thing.

On the flip side, Iwanako is the polar opposite of Hitomi. Hitomi is cold, aloof, and difficult to communicate with. Iwanako is expressive, emotional, easy to communicate with, and cries a heck of a lot more than Hitomi does. :wink:
Interesting. I don't think I intended her to be quite that fusion of characters, but I see it. Considering she has some of Hanako's appearance and a lesser degree of her shy personality, while also being more proper and lady-like (and somewhat forward) like Lilly. We'll see how much she stands on her own as we get to know her character more.

And kinda. They are definitely very, very different. Although Hitomi does cry now and then. If I ever slip into making them act too similarly, warn me. Part of the reason I'm holding off on this story is that I get my Hisaos confused, since they both live in my head, have most of the same experiences, but are different people with different motivations. I don't want my TMtM Hisao leaking into my Rebound Hisao, or vice versa.
Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
Overall, this is a great, well-written story that I'm looking forward to seeing play out. It doesn't look like it's going to be as long as a proper route—I wouldn't be surprised if the story ended after summer break ends—but it's clear that we have plenty of plot and conflict to make our way through before we can start to talk about an ending. The initial few chapters didn't feel quite as polished, but the story finds its footing starting with chapter four and the quality of each chapter has been very high from then on.
I'm thinking a total length between 20 and 30 chapters, though most likely closer to 20. Not set yet.

But we're a long way off from the ending, for sure.

Yeah, the initial chapters were written all at once, and they were only the second KS fanfic thing I had attempted to write at all. There was one previous attempt, which will never see the light of day, so help me God. They were certainly sloppier than the rest, as I was still getting into the feel of writing this way. And I also was trying to be in a fairly emotional state, like each of the characters are in those chapters, so I could write their feelings more effectively. This may have robbed the writing of quality in some ways.
Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:45 pm
But yeah, with an interesting premise, engrossing conflicts, great new characters, unique uses of old characters, and the same high-quality prose that's the standard of Xeraeo, this story is a keeper. I look forward to reading more when the this story is taken off of hold. No rush, though. Take your time, Xeraeo.

Take care, everyone!
I'll get back to it, eventually. It hasn't left me. Just need to get back on my writing feet with TMtM first before I can go back to properly thinking about Rebound.

Thanks for this!
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story (On Hold)

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